VIP Newsletter 007


Sent on Thursday, June 4, 2020, at 3:40 PM Eastern Time.

Hi everyone,

This week, Hack Club is donating technical equipment to Black and underserved Hack Club students in need.

Our tweet about Black Lives Matter

Here’s your 3-minute read on how we’re building Hack Club—sent to 80 recipients, including our major donors & friends. Thanks for this time together.

This update, we thank Theresa and Tom Preston-Werner (Hack Club board member) for donating 40 MacBook Airs and Guillermo Rauch of Vercel for donating 15 iPad Pros to Hack Club students.

Also, Adam Ross of Goldcrest Capital made his first donation of $25K to Hack Club—thank you. Thank you also to Austen Allred and Ron Conway for introducing us to two key leaders at Emerson Collective.

How you can help Hack Club students this week:

  • Match Theresa and Tom’s donation to students of 40 MacBook Airs or Guillermo’s donation of 15 iPad Pros like the co-founders of Very Good Security did earlier today
  • Introduce us to the Snap Foundation, the Andreessen family, or the Wojcicki family
  • Connect Hack Club to someone who can give us advice scaling our team. Last week, Adam Ross introduced us to the founders of Goldieblox and Piazza, both very helpful introductions.

We have three big items to share from the past 2 weeks:

  1. Growth update: 450% increase in student Slack activity in the past 3 months
  2. Launching Summer of Making: 470 pre-registrations so far, starts June 18th
  3. Transparency: Hack Club spent $62K in May and we’re breaking it down publicly in our first finance update

1. Growth update

Since February, Slack activity has grown from 2K daily student messages to now averaging 9K daily through all of May, a 450% increase in activity.

Likewise, our Twitter following grew from 1.8K to 11.8K in that same period. We now believe Hack Club is the most active community of teenage developers on the internet.

2. Summer of Making launch

Since our last newsletter, Hack Club students announced: Summer of Making, in which hundreds of students will be paired with professional engineer mentors as they build a project of their choice over the summer. Students building hardware projects can get electronics, soldering irons, and supplies granted to them through a $50K fund negotiated by Hack Club with GitHub.

15-year-old Sam P. and friends launched this. Read GitHub’s blog post. Thanks Adafruit & Arduino for offering discounts. Plus, founder Limor Fried speaks with Hack Club students on June 25th.

Seven members of the Hack Club team are now together in an inn in Vermont surrounded by whiteboards with students on the phone to get everything together.

3. Transparency

In our last update, we open-sourced our bank account ($813K) and enabled all our students on Hack Club Bank to do the same with their Hack Clubs, hackathons, and nonprofits.

Today, we’re publishing our first financial transparency report, where we lay out how we spent $62K on salaries, subscriptions, and expenses in May 2020. For students learning to build their own nonprofits, they can see how Hack Club spends every dollar. For donors both large and small, this makes it easy to hold us accountable.

These VIP updates will also be published six weeks after you read them on our website as well as on GitHub to serve as a model to our students.

Looking ahead:

Tonight at 8 PM Eastern / 5 PM Pacific we’re hosting a student AMA with Audrey Tang, the Digital Minister of Taiwan. They are the first transgender person to hold a high-level office in any government and leads Taiwan’s contact tracing program (all while being a deeply technical hacker active on GitHub).

Next Thursday, we’re hosting Patrick Collison, the founder and CEO of Stripe. Thank you to Ron Conway for connecting Patrick to Hack Club.

AMAs bring technology leaders into personal conversations with Hack Club students across the country. Recordings of our first 6 AMAs are all publicly available on our YouTube. Our AMA with Elon Musk has started showing up in YouTube recommendations and now has 150,000 views.

Hack Club student ships: In the past 2 weeks, here are just a few projects built by Hack Clubbers.

“I believe these kids will be the next great artists, inventors, CEOs, engineers, writers and leaders, of a better society we will build together,” —Guillermo Rauch

Screenshot of Zoom during AMA with Guillermo

Thanks for this time together.

- Zach

—Christina Asquith and Lachlan Campbell co-authored this update.


Zach Latta
Founder, Hack Club | | Donate
@zachlatta / fb / web / github

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